Online reading group and book discussion forum
  HOME ENTER FORUMS OUR BOOKS LINKS DONATE ADVERTISE CONTACT  
View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Sun Jul 21, 2019 3:12 pm





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 36 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next
10 red flag warnings for pseudoscience 
Author Message
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
pets endangered by possible book avalanche

BookTalk.org Moderator
Platinum Contributor

Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 4345
Location: NC
Thanks: 1836
Thanked: 1909 times in 1429 posts
Gender: Male

Post 10 red flag warnings for pseudoscience
The "10 red flag warnings for pseudoscience" put together by skeptic Brian Dunning:

1. Appeal to Authority - Celebrity endorsements, lab coats, fancy degrees or certifications... all distractions that point to the impressiveness of the claimant, not the truth of the claim.

2. Ancient Wisdom - Commonly seen attached to "alternative" medical therapies, and a pet peeve of mine – lots of "ancient wisdom" will get you killed! As Brian points out: all that matters is not the age of the "wisdom", but simply this: Does it work?

3. Confirmation Bias - The tendency to remember events that coincide with beliefs, and ignore or forget those that don't. Confirmation bias is one of the worst sloppy-thinking offenders, in my opinion - and one of the hardest for us to overcome.

4. Confusion of Correlation with Causation - Another common sticking point for many people. Brian's example: You'll find correlation between rice consumption and black hair, but not causation.

5. Red Herrings - Irrelevant information that distracts without addressing facts.

6. Proof by Verbosity - Information overload to create the appearance of comprehensiveness and thorough research. It's quantity over quality.

7. Mystical Energy - "Chi", "negative energy", "positive energy"... Brian suggests that you replace any mention of "energy" with the word's actual meaning - "measurable work capability" - and ask whether the claim still makes sense.

8. Suppressed by Authorities - Conspiracy! Beware! Yet... Why would pharmaceutical giants suppress miracle cures... or automakers squelch super-efficient engines... instead of embracing and profiting wildly from those discoveries?

9. All Natural - Yes, a pseudoscience health supplement may be "all natural"... but so are poison oak, scorpion venom, lead, mercury, bubonic plague, black holes... Natural doesn't mean safe!

10. Ideological Support - Causes that use courts, marches, campaigns, and so on to push a belief may be fueled more by indeology than by science.

See this video (beginning about 6:26).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=752V173e31o


_________________
-Geo
Question everything


The following user would like to thank geo for this post:
Cattleman
Sun Jul 28, 2013 12:40 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

BookTalk.org Moderator
Gold Contributor

Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 7040
Location: Da U.P.
Thanks: 1071
Thanked: 2064 times in 1656 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: 10 red flag warnings for pseudoscience
As for numbers 6 and 7, see the Deepak Chopra wisdom generator.

http://www.wisdomofchopra.com/


"Culture grows through Karmic Chaos" was the one I got just now. Good stuff, eternal wisdom for everyone's subconscious.


_________________
In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.” - Douglas Adams


Sun Jul 28, 2013 12:47 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Gold Contributor

Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 5481
Thanks: 1302
Thanked: 889 times in 763 posts
Gender: None specified
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: 10 red flag warnings for pseudoscience
Quote:
3. Confirmation Bias - The tendency to remember events that coincide with beliefs, and ignore or forget those that don't. Confirmation bias is one of the worst sloppy-thinking offenders, in my opinion - and one of the hardest for us to overcome
.

The guy in the video forgot to mention that science itself is not immune and perhaps riddled with a similar problem due to pressures and influences within the scientific community, motivated by many things besides "truth"

http://www.nature.com/news/beware-the-c ... as-1.10600


We need to avoid Science as Ideology and the Religion of Science.

Here are some portions of the article worth noting:

Quote:
How can we explain such pervasive bias? Like a magnetic field that pulls iron filings into alignment, a powerful cultural belief is aligning multiple sources of scientific bias in the same direction. The belief is that progress in science means the continual production of positive findings. All involved benefit from positive results, and from the appearance of progress. Scientists are rewarded both intellectually and professionally, science administrators are empowered and the public desire for a better world is answered. The lack of incentives to report negative results, replicate experiments or recognize inconsistencies, ambiguities and uncertainties is widely appreciated — but the necessary cultural change is incredibly difficult to achieve.



Striking!

Quote:
Researchers seek to reduce bias through tightly controlled experimental investigations. In doing so, however, they are also moving farther away from the real-world complexity in which scientific results must be applied to solve problems.



Quote:
Scientists rightly extol the capacity of research to self-correct. But the lesson coming from biomedicine is that this self-correction depends not just on competition between researchers, but also on the close ties between science and its application that allow society to push back against biased and useless results.




One thing is and has always been a certainty about Nature: it never fails to surprise, often leads us in an entirely different direction, and never fails to surprise (yeah, I repeated that for all the epistemological know-it-alls)

Beware of puffy people that make definitive claims. Claiming the sun will rise tomorrow with certainty is one thing. Claiming Nature is "dumb" is something else.

Thanks



Last edited by ant on Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:48 am, edited 2 times in total.



Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:43 am
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Knows the secrets of the internetz


Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 1025
Location: Texas
Thanks: 455
Thanked: 455 times in 360 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: 10 red flag warnings for pseudoscience
That was an amazing video, geo. Thanks for posting. :wink:

ant, while I respect your right to your opinion, your anti-science bias seems to color everything you post. Some questions... Do you drive an automobile? Do you live in a house with electricity? Do you have a phone (cell, tele or smart)? You obviously have a computer. (If you do not, please tell me how you access the internet). All these things were made possible by (gasp :o) science.

No true scientist believes he or she has all the answes. True, some scientists have been corrupted by politics, money, power, even religion. Just remember what the late Isaac Asimov said: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny..." :?

People who constantly denigrate science while enjoying its benefits give me indisgestion. :wink:


_________________
Love what you do, and do what you love. Don't listen to anyone else who tells you not to do it. -Ray Bradbury

Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done, and why. Then do it. -Robert A. Heinlein


The following user would like to thank Cattleman for this post:
geo
Mon Jul 29, 2013 7:39 pm
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

BookTalk.org Moderator
Gold Contributor

Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 7040
Location: Da U.P.
Thanks: 1071
Thanked: 2064 times in 1656 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: 10 red flag warnings for pseudoscience
Quote:
We need to avoid Science as Ideology and the Religion of Science.


I feel like playing devil's advocate for conversation sake.

Why would we need to avoid this so-called Religion of Science? No facet of our lives is without bias. Sometimes, bias refers to little more than the way our brains are wired. Natural side-effects of a physical information processor. Or remnants of predispositions that helped us survive in the distant past. Avoiding any religion of science because bias is found in the system is not a good reason. Bias is in every system.

In fact, only in science do you see a scalding distaste of bias. The scientific process is designed to minimize bias. It does a good job, but it's my opinion that bias will never be eliminated. It's one thing to minimize bias in the experimentation phase, but what about the selection of experiments, or the publishing of those experiment's results? Everything the author of the article you linked is referring to. A lack of any published articles regarding bias would be even better ammunition for your agenda.

You'd need philosophy to guide this religion of science, just as theology and hermeneutics guides religion. In both cases, that's a process of selection. You discard failed philosophies and keep the ones that work. Eugenics is an example of what to discard, just as we no longer burn witches at the stake.

Here's an example. For the purposes of his blog, he called it Moral Reasonism, which is a generic name, with the actual philosophies in a follow-up blog.

http://rationallyspeaking.blogspot.com/ ... ophys.html

Quote:
* Moral absolutism: X is universally right / wrong.
Indefensible because one cannot make coherent sense of what “universally” may possibly mean in this context.
* Moral relativism: X is acceptable / non-acceptable practice within a particular culture at a particular historical moment.
Inevitably leads to either sterile nihilism or to some sort of hidden absolutism.
* Moral reasonism (for lack of a better term): If assumptions {W,Z} are accepted, then X is right / wrong.
Where the assumptions are provided by our best (and changing) understanding of human nature, and the rest is done via rational thinking.


The assumptions provided by our best understanding of human nature will necessarily use scientific information. Informed by science and guided by philosophy, the Religion of Science. Hey, why not?


_________________
In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.” - Douglas Adams


Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:35 pm
Profile
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Getting Comfortable


Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 6
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 2 times in 2 posts
Gender: None specified

Post Re: 10 red flag warnings for pseudoscience
I echo the sentiment that the most rational people realize that such expressions as "science good, religion bad" and "science versus religion," usually indicate a superficial view that "mainline science" is something more than another world view that is counched in scientific-sounding rhetoric. Really, it is amusing to read (or watch documentaries, etc.) perspectives that assume the validity of the so-called scientific world view, when it is every bit as much top-heavy with philosophical assumption, but which is associated in an unbalanced way with "religious" views. Yes, "question everything!"--including smoke-screen pseudo-science that is usually NOT recognized as belonging to pseudo-science. There; I feel better now; thank you. r-Oz



The following user would like to thank r-Oz for this post:
ant
Tue Jul 30, 2013 4:03 pm
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Gold Contributor

Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 5481
Thanks: 1302
Thanked: 889 times in 763 posts
Gender: None specified
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: 10 red flag warnings for pseudoscience
r-Oz wrote:
I echo the sentiment that the most rational people realize that such expressions as "science good, religion bad" and "science versus religion," usually indicate a superficial view that "mainline science" is something more than another world view that is counched in scientific-sounding rhetoric. Really, it is amusing to read (or watch documentaries, etc.) perspectives that assume the validity of the so-called scientific world view, when it is every bit as much top-heavy with philosophical assumption, but which is associated in an unbalanced way with "religious" views. Yes, "question everything!"--including smoke-screen pseudo-science that is usually NOT recognized as belonging to pseudo-science. There; I feel better now; thank you. r-Oz


Finally.., a reasonable and balanced intellectual posture.



Tue Jul 30, 2013 4:14 pm
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

BookTalk.org Moderator
Gold Contributor

Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 7040
Location: Da U.P.
Thanks: 1071
Thanked: 2064 times in 1656 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: 10 red flag warnings for pseudoscience
Quote:
Really, it is amusing to read (or watch documentaries, etc.) perspectives that assume the validity of the so-called scientific world view


I know what philosophies I ascribe to, but I'm at a loss as to what my beliefs would look like as a scientific world view. Do you have examples? Not of the people, but of the views that are held. What is a 'scientific worldview'?

Quote:
Finally.., a reasonable and balanced intellectual posture.


Yeah, r-Oz appears to have some good opinions for discussion. I'm glad to see someone posting with similar views to your own ant.


_________________
In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.” - Douglas Adams


Tue Jul 30, 2013 8:32 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
pets endangered by possible book avalanche

BookTalk.org Moderator
Platinum Contributor

Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 4345
Location: NC
Thanks: 1836
Thanked: 1909 times in 1429 posts
Gender: Male

Post Re: 10 red flag warnings for pseudoscience
r-Oz wrote:
I echo the sentiment that the most rational people realize that such expressions as "science good, religion bad" and "science versus religion," usually indicate a superficial view that "mainline science" is something more than another world view that is counched in scientific-sounding rhetoric. Really, it is amusing to read (or watch documentaries, etc.) perspectives that assume the validity of the so-called scientific world view, when it is every bit as much top-heavy with philosophical assumption, but which is associated in an unbalanced way with "religious" views. Yes, "question everything!"--including smoke-screen pseudo-science that is usually NOT recognized as belonging to pseudo-science. There; I feel better now; thank you. r-Oz


Examples?


_________________
-Geo
Question everything


Tue Jul 30, 2013 9:22 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Gold Contributor

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 5767
Location: Canberra
Thanks: 2236
Thanked: 2172 times in 1642 posts
Gender: Male
Country: Australia (au)

Post Re: 10 red flag warnings for pseudoscience
Interbane wrote:
What is a 'scientific worldview'?


The assumption that we should not accept as true any claims that lack strong evidence and logic.


_________________
http://rtulip.net


Wed Jul 31, 2013 7:36 pm
Profile Email WWW
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Getting Comfortable


Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 6
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 2 times in 2 posts
Gender: None specified

Post Re: 10 red flag warnings for pseudoscience
I'm sitting here now, half-listening to Through The Wormhole, as I think of examples to use in reply to my above message. Well, first, let me say something about what a scientific worldview is. Of course, actual science is not strictly composed of only empirical information--much of it is theory (often based at least partially based on personal or collective "affected subjects'" worldview). Such scientific theories use tricks of the trade (persuasion techniques that are often so imbued in people's thinking that the tactics are subconscious) to compose philosophical pieces that are not popularly recognized as such because they are "scientists" who couch their views in the suggestively powerful rhetoric of their trade. On Through The Wormhole, I just heard, "Did God create evolution?" I don't think he did because after cohillating all of the available information, I don't think it's ultimately more rational to believe that the claims of evolution are even valid. I am a creationist, and it wouldn't bother me if God used evolution to create; it's just that I see more evidence for believing that the popularity of evolution is due more to emotional, psychological, and societal reasons than empirically related thinking. Many, many people are convinced of evolution, mostly because they have been convinced by such scientific worldviews. Parts of these views are valid, but not the whole, and not enough to make it do what the so-called scientists say it does. How about a quotation from someone who was "Tryon" too hard: "Our universe had its physical origin as a quantum fluctuation of some pre-existing true vacuum, or state of nothingness" (from What Makes the World Work, by Edward P. Tryon). Is that science? Or is that a philosophical postulation that may be supported by constructing an interesting discourse composed of naturalistic rhetoric? One more quotation in conclusion. "Although the currently in-vogue sector of the scientific community at large would like to camouflage the distinction between the strictly empirical evidence and their own other science-related explanations, the left-side Venn does not present a more rational belief system than the right-side Venn advocates" (from The Entrant, Joseph Martin).



Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:00 pm
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Gold Contributor

Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 5481
Thanks: 1302
Thanked: 889 times in 763 posts
Gender: None specified
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: 10 red flag warnings for pseudoscience
"The assumption that we should not accept as true any claims that lack strong evidence and logic"

Right, like when someone says I love you.



Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:51 pm
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Gold Contributor

Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 5481
Thanks: 1302
Thanked: 889 times in 763 posts
Gender: None specified
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: 10 red flag warnings for pseudoscience
Hey, ant. dont you know the naturalistic explanation for love?
love is nothing more than primal selfishness and concern for the continuation of the hominid species.

Yeah, tell that to your wife.
Or make sure you make that clear to your future Ex.

Man shouldnt be wired for delusions like Love.

:D



Wed Jul 31, 2013 11:00 pm
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

BookTalk.org Moderator
Gold Contributor

Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 7040
Location: Da U.P.
Thanks: 1071
Thanked: 2064 times in 1656 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: 10 red flag warnings for pseudoscience
Quote:
I don't think he did because after cohillating all of the available information, I don't think it's ultimately more rational to believe that the claims of evolution are even valid.


When I see statements like this, I wonder how a person can assimilate so much of the same information, but come to such a different conclusion. Of course, you haven't cohillated(collated?) all the available information. Unless you mean you own all published work on the subject, and perhaps most of the unpublished work. How many terabytes of information would that be? More than terabytes, if I had to guess.

Quote:
Such scientific theories use tricks of the trade (persuasion techniques that are often so imbued in people's thinking that the tactics are subconscious) to compose philosophical pieces that are not popularly recognized as such because they are "scientists" who couch their views in the suggestively powerful rhetoric of their trade.


Yes, their words are trickery. And you see right through them, don't you? Do you have an example of a theory couched in this deceptive rhetoric?

Quote:
Many, many people are convinced of evolution, mostly because they have been convinced by such scientific worldviews.


I've seen a great deal of evidence for evolution. Enough to know it's true. I wonder at how you rationalize the evidence away. It's the wording the scientists use when they explain the ramifications of their evidence, right?


_________________
In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.” - Douglas Adams


Wed Jul 31, 2013 11:04 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Gold Contributor

Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 5481
Thanks: 1302
Thanked: 889 times in 763 posts
Gender: None specified
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: 10 red flag warnings for pseudoscience
We know that if we keep smashing atomic particles that one day we will find the first particle that started it all. because there can not be an infinite regress of particles. we know that. the "evidence" is substantial, and our logic applies to the quantum world as well because quantum mechanics is very intuitive.
For example: light is both a wave and a particle and is neither here nor there!

:D



Wed Jul 31, 2013 11:06 pm
Profile Email
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 36 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:



Site Resources 
HELPFUL INFO:
Forum Rules & Tips
Frequently Asked Questions
BBCode Explained
Author Interview Transcripts
Be a Book Discussion Leader!

IDEAS FOR WHAT TO READ:
Bestsellers
Book Awards
• Book Reviews
• Online Books
• Team Picks
Newspaper Book Sections

WHERE TO BUY BOOKS:
• Great resource pages are coming!

BEHIND THE BOOKS:
• Great resource pages are coming!

PROMOTE YOUR BOOK!
Advertise on BookTalk.org
How To Promote Your Book





BookTalk.org is a thriving book discussion forum, online reading group or book club. We read and talk about both fiction and non-fiction books as a community. Our forums are open to anyone in the world. While discussing books is our passion we also have active forums for talking about poetry, short stories, writing and authors. Our general discussion forum section includes forums for discussing science, religion, philosophy, politics, history, current events, arts, entertainment and more. We hope you join us!


Navigation 
MAIN NAVIGATION

HOMEFORUMSOUR BOOKSAUTHOR INTERVIEWSADVERTISELINKSFAQDONATETERMS OF USEPRIVACY POLICYSITEMAP

OTHER PAGES WORTH EXPLORING
Banned Book ListOnline Reading GroupTop 10 Atheism Books

Copyright © BookTalk.org 2002-2019. All rights reserved.
Display Pagerank